Perspective Online

Advice for the First Time Homebuyer

by Rett Harmon ‘02

Real estate is hyperlocal. Buying your first home is an important milestone in everyone’s lives. The first step to take is to research your local REALTORS® and choose the one that fits best. After that, getting pre- approved for a loan is next in line because otherwise, you are just window shopping. Zillow is a useful source, however listen to your REALTOR® for advice on where to look for the most accurate information on your local housing options. Once you have found a property that you like, it is a good idea to visit the location at different times of the day, so that you will be aware of who your potential neighbors could be.

Advices for the First Time Homebuyer Currently, it is a seller’s market, which means that there is more demand than there is supply. Homes will always sell at the market price because the market is ever changing. It is very typical in a seller’s market for properties to sell at asking price or higher. Keep this in mind when making offers and also understand that multiple offers can be made on a single property. Follow the advice of your REALTOR® and be patient through the process of completing the loan up until closing.

There are some things to avoid when buying a house the first time homebuyers may not be aware of. For example, settling for a lender because they advertise for a cheap deal. When it comes to handling the biggest purchase of your life, it’s okay to do the research and pay a reasonable price. Lending is highly regulated and can be very similar. Go with someone that you feel comfortable going into their office and meeting with. Avoid taking on new credit or making large purchases until you have closed on your house. This can negatively impact your credit score and lower the amount of the loan that you are approved for.

Another common mistake that first time homebuyers tend to make is looking for homes at price points that they know they can’t afford. Don’t do it! It will only frustrate your purpose and distract you from a possible great deal. That being said, don’t settle for the wrong house or be afraid to buy the right one, even if it is the first one that you see. Once you are under contract, stop looking. It is an antsy and exciting time to surf the Internet when you are anticipating all of the things that can go right or wrong. Distract yourself by researching ideas on how you plan to decorate, remodel, or add on to your first home.

Finally, don’t get discouraged. The home buying process is complicated, but if you stay calm and trust your REALTOR®, everything will be worth it after those keys are in your hands!

Rett Harmon is a co-owner at Century 21 Novus, a prominent real estate and leasing agency located in Carrollton, Georgia, and is a member of the National Association of REALTORS®, Georgia REALTORS®, and West Metro Board of REALTORS®.

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